The beauty of Mcleod Ganj
Mcleod Ganj is set high up in the Himalayas. We immediately noticed the difference in temperature stepping off the coach, it was time to get those hoodies out! Our coach took us to Dharamsala so we had to get a taxi a short distance up the hill to our guesthouse.
Where we stayed
The Pink House – We stayed for one night before our trek which the owner organised for us. Our room had the most amazing view, E M Forster would’ve been proud! We had the luxury room for about 2000 rupees. It didn’t have air conditioning however the air was so fresh I was glad to have the blankets. Javid the owner was brilliant, he answered all my annoying emails and kindly booked our train tickets to and from Dharamsala.
What to do
We explored the area on foot climbing the steep hills and wandering past market stalls run by Tibetans and Nepalese people. We visited the Dalai Lama’s home after he fled Tibet in 1959. Thousands of Tibetan refugees live here influencing the area. We didn’t have time but we heard the Tibetan museum is worth visiting. It’s inside the main gate of the Tsuglagkhang Complex.
I bought a beautiful pink wool shawl from the ladies in the photo below for 400 rupees. It came in good use on the trek! Lydia bought her dad and brothers colourful wool hats. After visiting other areas of India we found the jewellery was a lot cheaper here.
If you only have time for a one day trek you have to visit Triund Hill. Start early in the morning and stop for chai breaks with incredible views. When you reach Triund and meet other trekkers you’ll be awestruck by the amazing view over McLeod Ganj. You can do the trek on your own following the trail, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to walk down before sunset.
What to eat
We ate delicious take-away cakes from a Tibetan shop close to our guesthouse. The owner was so friendly, laughing at our indecisiveness.
It absolutely poured down with rain in the afternoon turning the outside dark so we escaped into a cute little Tibetan restaurant. I ate thupka which is a noodle soup and really tasty. We got talking to a couple from Israel who invited us to a wedding party that evening. Alas we didn’t go knowing we had a four day trek ahead of us. The restaurant was plunged into darkness when the electricty cut out. Used to this daily occurrence the owner placed candles onto everyone’s tables. We carried on unperturbed playing cards waiting for the rain to stop.
Mcleod Ganj is known for it’s Tibetan momo’s. We actually tried them in Kolkata with the hottest sauce burning our mouths!
Read about our trek here.